Navigation Links
Parkinson's disease makes it harder to figure out how other people feel
Date:3/3/2010

WASHINGTON Scientists are beginning to find out why people with Parkinson's disease often feel socially awkward. Parkinson's patients find it harder to recognize expressions of emotion in other people's faces and voices, report two studies published by the American Psychological Association.

One of the studies raises questions about how deep brain stimulation, the best available treatment for patients who no longer respond to medication, more strongly affects the recognition of fear and sadness. A neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson's causes tremors, stiffness and balance problems, as well as fairly frequent depression and dementia.

In the March issue of Neuropsychology, Heather Gray, PhD, and Linda Tickle-Degnen, PhD, report that people with Parkinson's disease, compared with matched controls, often have difficulty discerning how others are feeling.

Their meta-analysis of 34 different studies using data from 1,295 participants shows a robust link between Parkinson's and specific deficits in recognizing emotions, especially negative emotions, across different types of stimuli and tasks.

The meta-analysis, conducted at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University, found that patients typically had some degree of problem identifying emotion from faces and voices.

Further clarification is provided in a second study that showed that deep-brain stimulation, compared with medication, caused a consistently large deficit in the recognition of fear and sadness two key facial expressions that, when understood, aid survival. That study is published in the January issue of Neuropsychology.

Researchers led by Julie Pron, PhD, at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Rennes in France, compared the ability of people with Parkinson's in three different groups to recognize facial emotions: 24 advanced patients implanted with deep-brain stimulators after they didn't respond or were sensitive to oral levodopa (the usual drug for the disease); 20 advanced patients given apomorphine hydrochloride by injection or infusion pump while they waited an implant; and 30 healthy controls.

Researchers tested all participants using standard photographs of facial expression before and three months after they were treated. Before implantation of the stimulators, all participants read facial expressions equally well.

Patients in the surgical group were implanted with stimulators, electrical devices that prod the brain's subthalamic nucleus, a small, lens-shaped structure, to normalize the nerve signals that control movement. This nucleus is part of the basal ganglia system, which is thought to integrate movement, cognition and emotion.

Three months after treatment, only the patients with stimulators not the drug-treated patients or the healthy controls were significantly worse at recognizing fear and sadness. Patients with stimulators confused those expressions with others, such as surprise, or even no emotion. Medicated patients and healthy controls were either accurate about fear and sadness or occasionally mistook them for other negative emotions, such as disgust.

"Having Parkinson's predisposes an individual to errors in emotion recognition," said Gray. "The research in France, along with previous studies, indicates that deep-brain stimulation produces an even more severe deficit."

Why would treating a movement disorder affect the perception of emotions? Implants affect a part of the brain that reaches across functions, so the authors suggested that the same electrical stimulation that calms over-excited motor activity may also somehow inhibit emotional processing.

Although the impact of Parkinson's and deep-brain stimulation varies by patient, it's important to understand. "The first step is to educate patients and their close associates about the potential for emotion recognition difficulties, so they can learn to manage some of the social consequences, such as misunderstanding and frustration," said Gray and Tickle-Degnen. The next step might be training in emotion recognition, which they said has shown promise.

According to the National Institutes of Health, deep-brain stimulation is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms, including Parkinson's and essential tremor, a common neurological movement disorder.

At present, the procedure is used only for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications. According to Pron, about 15 percent of Parkinson's disease patients are thought capable of benefiting from the surgery.


'/>"/>

Contact: Public Affairs Office
public.affairs@apa.org
202-336-5700
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Questions Value of Test for Peripheral Artery Disease
2. Hard to Treat Diseases (HTDS) Releases 09 Financials
3. New research shows innovative respiratory stress test can quickly detect significant coronary artery disease in a noninvasive setting
4. HIV and noncommunicable diseases hinder the progress of poor countries Millennium Development Goals
5. M. D. Anderson develops tool to measure severity of chronic graft-vs.-host disease symptoms
6. Future Heart Disease May Be in Store for Obese Kids
7. National Kidney Month 2010: Stories of Hope About the Prevention and Maintenance of Kidney Disease from The Kidney TRUST
8. Castrate-Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Therapeutic Considerations for Advanced Disease
9. UNC study: Obese 3-year-olds show early warning signs for future heart disease
10. Pinpointing immune system disturbances in celiac disease
11. Genetic Disease Foundation Encourages Americans to Know Their Genes at KnowYourGenes.org in Observance of World Rare Disease Day
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce ... program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers ... of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its ... Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding ... Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ... sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter ... 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in ... durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has ... is led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel ... investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization ... release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: